MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. - The Miami-Dade County Public School district made history this week by achieving a district-wide A grade for the 2017-18 school year by the Florida Department of Education.
This is the first time the school district has been rated an A since the start of the Florida School Performance Grades.
School district officials said this was also the second school year in a row where there were no F-rated traditional schools.
Higher percentages of Miami-Dade public schools also received A ratings in 2018 than all school districts statewide, including large Florida districts like Broward, Hillsborough, Duval, Palm Beach and Orange.
"This historic, record-setting news is a testament to the fortitude and focus of students, teachers, school and District leaders, support staff and every member of the Miami-Dade County Public Schools team," Superintendent Alberto M. Carvalho said in a news release. "We are fortunate to have the support and visionary leadership of our School Board and a group of talented professionals who I consider the best instructional staff in the nation – our teachers. They believe in the ability, potential, and learning capacity of every child. Today is a great day to celebrate in Miami-Dade."
School officials said 47 percent of all Miami-Dade public schools received A ratings this year, compared to 32 percent statewide.
According to a news release, 98 percent of the county's schools are currently rated A, B or C.
"M-DCPS also received higher ratings than the state when examining the percentage of schools combined across A and B ratings; and across A, B, and C ratings," the news release stated.
Below is a list of statistics regarding the performance this past school year:
• 49 percent of M-DCPS elementary schools, compared to 28 percent statewide.
• 40 percent of M-DCPS middle schools, compared to 33 percent statewide.
• 37 percent of M-DCPS senior high schools, compared to 32 percent statewide.
• 56 percent of M-DCPS combination grade schools, compared to 45 percent statewide.
The school grades are calculated by the Florida Department of Education based on up to 11 components, including student achievement and learning gains on statewide, standardized assessments and high school graduation rate.
During a news conference Thursday, school officials also announced that the School Board voted at a special meeting Wednesday night to allow the superintendent and his staff to draft an item for the community to vote on in November that would give teachers in the district a raise.
The item would require a millage increase for homeowners in the county, and that extra cash would go toward salaries for staff inside of the classroom.
"The teachers deserve it," Carvalho said. "This school system has earned (it) and the performance justifies it. If there was ever a time when we would have a fair, solid, compelling argument to ask this community for an investment to support our teachers, to pay them in a dignified way that recognizes their professionalism and their effort, that time is now."
Meanwhile, Broward County Public Schools did well also, getting a B grade overall, with 93 percent of their schools getting rated A, B or C.
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